Social Anxiety and Dating
Normally I try to keep a fine line drawn between the social skills advice and the dating advice. I think there’s far too many dating advice websites out there with (mostly) nonsense information and that’s not my kind of thing – it’s also not what I teach. Normally I keep any of the dating and relationship advice on a separate site but I felt like it was time we at least took a look at social anxiety and dating.
Now this isn’t going to be a pickup guide. A part of helping you see how to overcome social anxiety to sort this part of the problem out too. In fact it’s not really going to be a guide because there’s no real blueprint for point A (being social anxious and not wanting to talk or make eye contact with people) to point B (on a date) from the shyness and social anxiety perspective.
It’s a look at why it’s an issue in the first place and what you can do about it.
Problems with Social Anxiety Dating
The problem dating with social anxiety is really the same problem as some people have with even just having a social life with people of the same gender/orientation. Just sometimes magnified.
It’s all down to how your mind perceives things. Have you ever wondered why you’re feeling socially anxious? It’s a defence mechanism. It’s the same reason you can’t just reason to yourself “I have no reason to be afraid of speaking to this woman”.
The awkwardness you’re feeling is fear. Fear generated from the lower levels of your brain designed to keep you safe and it’s detecting a threat. It believes that girl is socially superior and automatically puts you on the defensive. It’s a feature of our brain we really don’t need in this modern day and age and a reminder of one of our baser instincts.
So understanding what’s going on is one thing. But because it doesn’t understand logic and reason it’s going to continue to happen. In fact the more you get into that situation the more your brain is going to register a threat and try to panic to get you out of that situation as often as possible. Click here if you’d rather just get this sorted out right now.
No obviously this presents a pretty big problem on approaching someone – let alone being on the date itself.
It’s possible it could happen, depending on the level of social anxiety you’re experiencing, but it’s still not ideal if you can’t hold eye contact let alone a conversation. Not to mention every time something goes wrong it’s just subliminally reinforcing the whole thing for the lower level of your brain and making it worse in the long run.
Ideally you want to remove the whole problem. And do so quickly.
Overcoming Social Anxiety
I shouldn’t really have to point out the obvious but dating is just one of the reasons to deal with social anxiety or shyness. It’ll hold you back in your romantic life of course but also your business and social life. You might be amazed at the difference it can make to the quality if your life to get to a place you can talk to people comfortably.
So you can talk to strangers, make friends, fill your calendar with things to do, people to meet and, of course, improve your dating life. And this is actually easier than you might think. Just break it down into a few steps:
- Understand what social anxiety is and why you feel it.
- Re-train that lower level of your brain to respond properly.
- Enjoy being comfortable around people.
Now obviously that list makes it sound easy. And it is. But to actually retrain the lower levels of your mind without making things worse you need to be using the right techniques. Luckily for you, and the thousands of other people I’ve coached, there’s a full on training course which you can check out here.
Dating Someone with Social Anxiety
If, in the off chance, you don’t actually have a problem with social anxiety yourself and you’ve found yourself dating someone who does then it can be a bit of a mixed bag. You might have found yourself a great match and if you can get them on the right track towards overcoming their social anxiety then things will be better than ever.
But, of course, it really all depends.
If you haven’t really been together long you might not want to breach the subject. They’ll likely know that something is up if it’s becoming an issue. In fact it’s probably on their mind far more than they’ll be able to express to you. How you deal with that is going to really be down to the two of you. You could just try the direct approach and say you know they’re socially anxious and maybe tell them you know someone who overcame it. Pick them up a book or even our training course. You might want to go here for the training course by the way.